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Eagle Owl in Derwent Drawing Pencils
This Eagle Owl is done in Derwent Drawing pencils, which are soft and are brilliant for fur and feathers. Scroll down for details.......
● Derwent Drawing Pencils (see colour chart)
● HB & 2B Pencils for sketching and/or tracing
● Black or dark grey pastel paper such as Clairefontaine Pastelmat
● Cartridge paper for planning your design and practising different strokes.
● Pencil Sharpener - battery operated or electric ones are good
● Torchon or colourless blending pencil
● Eraser - pencil erasers and battery erasers good for erasing small areas
● Sandpaper block or piece of old fine sandpaper for cleaning torchon
● Stylus or old biro for tracing image onto pastel paperNote: Derwent do a good range of similar accessories for use with coloured pencils and pastels. There is a thick stylus in their Drawing Tools set which is excellent for pastel paper
● Tip. Hold pencils at an angle to the paper for best results. Keep pencils sharp for details. Start with soft strokes, building up to firm strokes for later layers of colour.
Line Drawing Step 1
Using a pale coloured pencil, such as Wheat, so that you can see it against the dark pastel paper, lightly draw or trace the line drawing onto your chosen paper. I used Ruby Earth for the key features in this demonstration to show how the original guidelines are covered up as you work.
Start the most prominent eye. Using Chinese White, draw a highlight in an arc towards the top of the pupil. Draw it in lightly at first and go over it more firmly later, once you are sure it is correctly placed. Outline the pupil in Ivory Black, shading it softly in towards the highlight. Add a touch of Cool Grey beneath the highlight. Fill in the eye socket with Ivory Black. Start the first layer of the iris using Warm Earth for the top and underneath the pupil, shading to Yellow Ochre at the bottom of the eyeball.
For the second layer of the eye, add Ruby Earth with a light touch to the top of the eye followed by a layer of Sepia. Add Chocolate to the very top of the eye, under the socket, to represent a shadow. This makes the eye ‘sit’ in its socket. Finally, using a sharp pencil, add a tiny highlight to the iris in line with the larger highlight to bring the eye to life. Complete the second eye using the same colours as before for the first layer, but with less detail, as it is further away from the viewer. For the second layer, use a touch of Warm Grey over the whole eye to make it recede. Add a few long strokes to of Ivory Black to the beak and a long white highlight to the front of the beak, blending the two colours slightly together.
Start the feathers. Using Wheat, pick out the lightest feathers. Using short, fine strokes and a sharp pencil draw the tips of the feathers around the owl’s ruff. Draw the light feathers on his ears and over the front of his less prominent eye with longer, firmer strokes. Keep the strokes in the direction the feathers are growing. Using Wheat again, draw a curved line under the eye socket of the nearest eye. Leave a dark semi-circle of paper showing beneath this line before drawing in another semi-circle of short feathers in Wheat underneath.
Next, the darks. Using Chocolate, suggest the darkest area of feathers using soft, squiggly strokes with a rapid motion. It’s a good idea to practice this first on spare paper.
Shade in some mid-tones with Warm Earth, using rapid squiggly lines again, then re-establish some of the darker feather again with Ivory Black using ‘W’ shapes for the overlapping chest feathers.
Continue building up the feathers using Yellow Ochre and Wheat as shown, above the eyes and on the chest, with a few short strokes of Brown Ochre on the ruff. Brighten the lightest parts with firmer strokes of Chinese White, using longer strokes for the white chest feathers.
If you wish, the background can be covered at this stage with soft layers of Chocolate and Ivory Black, though this is optional. Make sure a few light feathers are drawn over the background so that the owl stands out against the dark ground.
Step 8 Continue building up the feathers using more layers of the same colours used before until you are happy that there is good tonal contrast and a variety of colour in the feathers. Finally, add a couple of strokes of Brown Ochre to the ears and the more prominent chest feathers.
Finished drawing: Cape Eagle Owl, Derwent Drawing Pencils, 6x4 in. (10x15 cms)
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